SCA dismisses Zuma's latest bid to remove Downer from his corruption case

The matter was dismissed with costs, paving the way for Zuma’s corruption trial to get under way on 11 April.

FILE: Former South African President Jacob Zuma stands in the dock during the recess of his corruption trial at the Pietermaritzburg High Court in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on 26 May 2021. Picture: Phill Magakoe/AFP

DURBAN - The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has dismissed former president Jacob Zuma’s latest bid to have State prosecutor Advocate Billy Downer removed from his corruption case.

The former president had approached the SCA following the dismissal of his attempt to do so by the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

The matter was dismissed with costs, paving the way for Zuma’s corruption trial to get under way on 11 April.

The Supreme Court of Appeal has dismissed Zuma’s attempt to challenge the Pietermaritzburg High Court’s ruling in his bid to remove Downer from the case.

The former president believes Downer is biased, saying that this could compromise his trial.

But the SCA ruled that there was no compelling reason to hear an appeal over the matter.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said that it would now focus on the trial set for next month.

"We welcome the judgment because we feel that the really was no course for sourcing an appeal, and we will now be focusing on making sure the trial resumes on 11 April,"NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said.

Mhaga also said that the NPA believed that Downer was a credible prosecutor and would remain on the case: "We believe in the integrity and capability of Advocate Downer hence he is proceeding to prosecute the matter".

Zuma is set to stand trial in Pietermaritzburg on 11 April.